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Book and Media Reviews
August 15, 2012

War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliations: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (ejr@northwestern.edu).

JAMA. 2012;308(7):719-720. doi:10.1001/jama.308.7.719-b

It is commonly believed that the practices that comprise medical rehabilitation developed out of the need to provide care for injured World War II military personnel and for people with poliomyelitis. In War's Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America, Beth Linker dispels that myth. Many of the original motivations and strategies of rehabilitation had their roots in events that surrounded America's response to caring for injured soldiers returning from World War I. The interesting and somewhat surprising genesis of the philosophy and common practices applied in rehabilitation medicine today is described in this detailed, well-written, and well-referenced account.